Despite all of the attempts that have been made recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania’s gambling industry is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 induced changes. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has previously released some figures detailing the impact that the pandemic has had on the state’s online gambling revenue and now it is followed through with yet a report detailing the job losses that the state’s residents have suffered since the pandemic hit.
According to the gaming control board’s annual report, there were just 10,068 people working at the Keystone State’s 12 operations land-based gambling venues. This represents a drop of 36.2 percent which equates to a total of 6,049 job losses compared to the same period last year.
“To describe fiscal year 2019-2020 as different would be a massive understatement. The health and safety restrictions needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic were debilitating for Pennsylvania’s land-based gaming industry. This led to significant revenue loss and temporary unemployment for thousands of industry workers.”David Barasch, chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The state’s land-based casino operations have sine reopened for business but due to health concerns, a number of measures have had to be put in place. These measures include requirements for reduced workforces due to new occupancy limits which are part of the efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
A Glimmer of Hope
While many employees have already permanently lost their jobs, there are so many that are still on temporary furlough. Needless to say, this does not make their situations any better. Even so, some of the casino operators have made promises that they will recall their employees as things get better. This will, however, depend on the conditions as well as the revenue – everything needs to be in place to ensure everyone is safe and the workers will obviously need to be paid.
It is also worth noting that there has been a significant surge in online gambling activities across the state. This will certainly fix all of the employment-related problems in the state, it will certainly offer opportunities to some individuals in the state. It might not be able to accommodate every single casino worker who has lost their job but it is a great place to start.
The gaming control board’s chairman David M. Barasch, is confident that the Fiscal year 2020-2021 will involve a lot of growth for the state’s gambling sector. Hopefully, in addition to restoring some of the lost job opportunities, the growth will be accompanied by many more benefits.